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Which WWII tanks could be built today?


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blurr91 #101 Posted Aug 09 2013 - 01:50

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View PostZinegata, on Aug 08 2013 - 06:35, said:

In practice though both tanks (M1 and Leo 2) were produced starting the same year - 1979.

It took five more years (1984) before the M1A1 came out. By contrast, the Dutch had already received their first 120mm-armed Leo2s in 1981.

I really don't think that explanation holds a lot of water. It really feels more like the standard intransigience of the US Army procuring anything not made in the USA.

US Army?  Intransigent?  Surely you jest....

blurr91 #102 Posted Aug 09 2013 - 02:00

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View PostDaigensui, on Aug 08 2013 - 11:56, said:


Although given the importance of Southwest Asia, I doubt Israel will fight alone.


Thus, why all this talk is nonsense in a sense.

All I was trying to say is Israel did not fight a real "Soviet style" tank army.  Israel's solution to MBT is uniquely Israeli.  We don't see that in any other part of the world.

A single Soviet tank army would probably have crushed IDF, just by sheer weight and depth and tempo.  Israel has never fought anything like it.  Arab armies couldn't have pulled that off.

Merk is very easy to knock out from the front (engine + large cross section of chassis).  Merk is vulnerable in the rear (ammo rack is the "troop compartment") just like other MBT in the rear (weak armor around engine).  But at least a hit in the back of other MBTs would only knock out the engine and set them on fire, in the Merk it would be a catastrophic explosion.  Then again Merk probably has better all around protection against RPGs than other MBTs, which is what we see now in low intensity conflicts around the world.

When is RPG the biggest threat to a modern MBT?  MOUT.  Therefore, Merk is the best MBT for MOUT, bar none.

collimatrix #103 Posted Aug 09 2013 - 11:12

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If this chart is to be believed, the merkava isn't that much taller than other MBTs, nor is it particularly wider.  Actually, all contemporary MBTs are about as wide as they possibly can be, since they're all about at the limits of what rail transportation can easily deal with.

The merkava does appear to have a taller hull.  The entire hull is about as tall as the engine deck of an abrams (makes sense; the engine deck is in the front), but the turret on the 1/2/3 has a significantly narrower frontal area, while the 4 is wide, but only due to the enormous armor packages.

So, slightly more frontal hull and slightly higher turret ring, but somewhat narrower turret.  It's about a wash as far as target area is concerned.  If you want teensy frontal target area, go with a Soviet design... and then rage about your 5 degrees of gun depression and lack of neutral steer.

In addition, it isn't storing any ammo in the front hull, unlike the Leo 2 or Leclerc.

thegreenbaron #104 Posted Aug 09 2013 - 11:17

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Regardless of all the MBT comments, someone mentioned buying an AMX 13.  First and foremost, you can still get modernization kits for that tank from the manufacturer or get a variety of interesting upgrades with the correct bribe in certain South American countries.  I like it in 105mm (non-artillery) myself, but 90mm and 4-5 anti-tank missiles can pack a wallop.

blurr91 #105 Posted Aug 09 2013 - 18:52

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View Postcollimatrix, on Aug 09 2013 - 11:12, said:

If this chart is to be believed, the merkava isn't that much taller than other MBTs, nor is it particularly wider.  Actually, all contemporary MBTs are about as wide as they possibly can be, since they're all about at the limits of what rail transportation can easily deal with.

The merkava does appear to have a taller hull.  The entire hull is about as tall as the engine deck of an abrams (makes sense; the engine deck is in the front), but the turret on the 1/2/3 has a significantly narrower frontal area, while the 4 is wide, but only due to the enormous armor packages.

So, slightly more frontal hull and slightly higher turret ring, but somewhat narrower turret.  It's about a wash as far as target area is concerned.  If you want teensy frontal target area, go with a Soviet design... and then rage about your 5 degrees of gun depression and lack of neutral steer.

In addition, it isn't storing any ammo in the front hull, unlike the Leo 2 or Leclerc.

Agreed. Merkava is not taller than other MBTs.  My point was that Merkava has a larger chassis (or maybe I should have used the term "hull") cross section than contemporary MBTs.  It's a larger item to hide.  Israelis compensated for this by moving the ammorack to the rear of the vehicle where the engine normally would by, thus decreasing the size of the turret.

A larger frontal cross section of the hull means more armor weight needs to be spread around to protect the engine so a frontal shot won't mobility-kill the tank.  So in the end, you end up with roughly the same level of protection from the front (where the crew is concerned) but the tank is easier to knock out with engine damage.

The greatest advantage of this design is the rear entrance and the ability to dump ammo in a pinch to carry people.  This turned out to be an excellent feature for lower intensity MOUT that we have seen in recent years.  Western MBTs do not have this flexibility.

blurr91 #106 Posted Aug 09 2013 - 18:57

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View Postthegreenbaron, on Aug 09 2013 - 11:17, said:

Regardless of all the MBT comments, someone mentioned buying an AMX 13.  First and foremost, you can still get modernization kits for that tank from the manufacturer or get a variety of interesting upgrades with the correct bribe in certain South American countries.  I like it in 105mm (non-artillery) myself, but 90mm and 4-5 anti-tank missiles can pack a wallop.

This sure would be easier to do than to rebuild WW2 tanks.  I'm not sure if the OP wanted to use modern technique to build functional WW2 tanks for combat use or just as a curiosity museum piece.

There are far better options if anyone wants functioning tanks for combat use today.  Many Cold War era Soviet tanks can be had for cheap on the international market.  Buying third hand western tanks is also an option, but probably not as cheap.  Anyone of these choices will be far more combat effective than to rebuild WW2 tanks like the Tiger or KV-1.

farcticox #107 Posted Aug 10 2013 - 22:49

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These guys have hellcats for sale

http://www.site.ww2mv.com/home.php

I think they were building replica tanks to order as well, built to original specs and plans where possible, don't know if you would get a working gun though :amazed:

Zinegata #108 Posted Aug 13 2013 - 11:35

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View PostNutrientibusMeaGallus, on Aug 08 2013 - 16:03, said:

Too many people focus on the age of a particular tank weapon, and not the fact that it'll be modified, paired with newer tracking/targeting systems, and ammo.

My point is that the age of the weapon means it could have been armed with a 120mm had the political will, money, or lack of simple stupidity been there.

Walter_Sobchak #109 Posted Aug 13 2013 - 15:28

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View Postfarcticox, on Aug 10 2013 - 22:49, said:

These guys have hellcats for sale

http://www.site.ww2mv.com/home.php


Hmm, 300 grand is a bit out of my price range.  I guess I'll have to stick to collecting 1/72 scale models instead of the real thing.  Thanks for posting this, very interesting!

Dominatus #110 Posted Aug 13 2013 - 15:34

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Pretty sure there are vehicles within the 100 grand range somewhere. Probably mostly BMPs though.

Walter_Sobchak #111 Posted Aug 13 2013 - 15:45

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View PostZinegata, on Aug 08 2013 - 06:35, said:

In practice though both tanks (M1 and Leo 2) were produced starting the same year - 1979.

It took five more years (1984) before the M1A1 came out. By contrast, the Dutch had already received their first 120mm-armed Leo2s in 1981.

I really don't think that explanation holds a lot of water. It really feels more like the standard intransigience of the US Army procuring anything not made in the USA.

Seeing as the 105mm gun that the M1 was originally equipped with was a British design, I don't think there was bias against the 120mm gun because it was foreign.  I think the explanation I posted earlier, which came from the Osprey New Vanguard book on the M1 by Zaloga seems perfectly valid.  The US was not sure the 120 gun would be ready when the M1 went into production.  The fact that they designed the turret to be easily upgraded to a bigger gun also shows that they were not opposed to the 120 gun.  It just took them a few years to get the M1A1 into production.  I don't think there was any conspiracy against foreign guns involved.

Walter_Sobchak #112 Posted Aug 13 2013 - 15:47

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View PostDominatus, on Aug 13 2013 - 15:34, said:

Pretty sure there are vehicles within the 100 grand range somewhere. Probably mostly BMPs though.

I suspect buying an actual tank/AFV might be the final straw for the wife.

blurr91 #113 Posted Aug 15 2013 - 01:24

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View PostWalter_Sobchak, on Aug 13 2013 - 15:47, said:

I suspect buying an actual tank/AFV might be the final straw for the wife.

It'll be tricky to park, but I'm sure if push comes to shove, the wife would be happy to drive over that annoying SUV in her shiny 2nd hand BMP.  Imagine driving the kids to soccer practice or hauling groceries on 2 tracks rather than 4 wheels... :teethhappy:

Xlucine #114 Posted Aug 15 2013 - 02:35

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The crash protection would be great, long as you're strapped in it'll just ride through other vehicles.

_Guderian #115 Posted Aug 27 2013 - 06:32

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All this discussion of Merkava vs. Soviet tanks doesn't take into account why the Merkava is designed the way it is. Israel's main worry in another Arab-Israeli war is numbers of soldiers and vehicles available on each side. They knew they had less population, meaning less soldiers in the field. The Merkava is designed from the ground up to protect the crew so they can live to fight another day. That is the reason the engine compartment was placed in front, a penetration in the front might destroy the engine but the crew has a better chance to survive. Other MBTs were designed around different concepts, depending on the country, such as ease of manufacture and repair, mobility, firepower, visibility and ease of spotting enemy tanks. Thats the reason the Merkava is such a unique design when compared to the MBTs of many other countries. That doesn't mean it wouldn't be just as effective in combat with those other MBTs. As to whether they could take on a Russian armored assault, if you had an equal number of tanks I don't think the Russian tanks or training would be in any way superior to Israeli tanks or training, just different.

As to whether WW2 tanks could be produced today, we have the necessary technology to produce them, if the machine/tool needed doesn't exist it can itself be made. It would all depend on how much money one was willing to spend and how historically accurate you wanted it. Lack of blueprints isn't such an isssue because there are enough existing tanks and information available to reverse engineering anything that was in use, even most tanks that made it to the prototype stage could probably be built pretty accuratly to the way they were meant to be with the plethora of information available. There probably would be a market for them as well from individual collectors and history buffs with money, museums, and movies. Would that market actually be large enough to justify the expense of setting up the fabrication facilities? Probably not.

As they are no WW2 tank could stand up in battle to a modern tank. Could they be modernized? Yes they could, possibly to the point of being able to take on modern tanks, but it would be simpler and cheaper to design a new tank around whatever concept you wanted to base your tank design on. I think there are some interesting aspects to WW2 tank designs that fell out of use after WW2 which may be worth taking a second look at and perhaps even incorporating into a modern tank design. WW2 was a period of intense tank warfare and experimentation that hasn't been equalled since and any modern tank designer who isn't studying WW2 is just foolish.

mattwong #116 Posted Aug 27 2013 - 06:34

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View PostOOPMan, on Jul 30 2013 - 10:17, said:

I've been wondering this for a while.

On one hand, our industrial and technical prowess are a lot more advanced now than they were 60 years ago, so in theory it should be easier to build a WWII tank design now than ever before.

On the other hand, I imagine their are actually a lot of potential problems including:
  • Incomplete or missing design plans, specifications
  • Lack of engineers and/or workers with useful experience in building/repairing these machines
  • Incompatibilities with regards to modern industrial processes and antiquated industrial processes
So, how easy would it be to build, for example, a Tiger II, an M4A3E8 or a KV-1 today?

It would be incredibly easy, provided you don't insist that the reproduction be precisely historically accurate in every last detail.  Modern engines are far more compact and efficient than WW2 engines, so one of the biggest engineering difficulties (the size of the engine) is basically eliminated.  With all of that extra room to work with, it would be trivially easy for engineers to design tanks which meet the same performance specifications and have the same outward appearance as those old WW2 tanks.

Captain_Rex33 #117 Posted Aug 31 2013 - 02:10

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View PostWhite_wolf, on Jul 30 2013 - 10:35, said:

Edit: Neg rep... really? I dont you know who you are but I know you're butthurt.
fixed that for you

valkyrie451 #118 Posted Sep 01 2013 - 06:24

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Actually, you might be surprised the find out that those blueprints (and I mean about 97% of them) are locked away somewhere in a government underground file system maintained by the pentagon stored somewhere in archives.  For not just our tanks, but German, Russian, French, British, Chinese, all nations... Don't doubt for a min. that those blueprints don't exist.  Its all archived away in fine detail along with all other military device, machine, invention, apparatus, you can think of.

Filed and cataloged in its own filing system.

Take it to the bank. :blinky:

slayer6 #119 Posted Sep 01 2013 - 06:51

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I would say any tank designs up until mid 1941 would be feasible - after that armor thickness becomes an issue due to limitations imposed by modernisation of the armaments industry - same reason why battleships cannot be built today, since the facilities that created the armor plate no longer exist...

shapeshifter #120 Posted Sep 01 2013 - 07:46

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The Weta Workshop guys built a Panzer IV awhile back. can't find much details on it, think it was a private commision they did.
Posted Image
Also apparently they are going to build a full sized running Tiger II as well for a movie Panzer 88 or something (horror movie)
"concept art for Panzer 88.  This WWII creature feature is about a German tank fleeing across Russia from a mysterious entity.   The film will be directed by Peter Briggs, and produced in New Zealand with effects by Peter Jackon’s WETA Workshop."
"Panzer follows “the five-man German crew of the Ilsa — a King Tiger, the biggest tank of its day — on a mission to the frigid and fearsome Russian border, where they tread into an ancient mystery by stirring a powerful entity.”
Posted Image
I imagine the Tiger 2 will be 1:1 replica with a running engine, with the body made out of lighter metals (mostly lots of aluminium) would be way to $ to make the sucker a full copy out of steel (70+ tons and all that)

Edited by shapeshifter, Sep 01 2013 - 07:57.





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